Here are five surprising and simple additions to your diet to help alleviate anxiety.


Unfortunately it’s a sign of the times that, to a greater or lesser extent, everyone seems to be plagued with some degree of anxiety or worry. And if you suffer with digestive issues it’s a double whammy as you no doubt will have noticed that what goes on in your head definitely impacts what’s happening in your gut. We all frequently use phrases such as ‘I have a gut feeling about this’ or ‘I’ve got butterflies in my stomach’ – these all refer to our powerful gut-brain connection, and this is the link between stress, anxiety and gut health.

The more scientists discover, the more it’s becoming apparent that the link between our digestive system and emotions is incredibly strong. Gut health can impact depression, stress and anxiety in a big way – so it’s vital to keep both functioning as optimally as possible. The brain and the gut are ALWAYS talking to each other.

The gut is known as the second brain for good reason – it’s home to the enteric nervous system (ENS). The more scientists research the ENS the more they discover just how complicated and powerful it is – so its no wonder that it’s so sensitive to any sign of stress.


Unfortunately our bodies don’t distinguish between psychological and physical stress. It makes no difference whatsoever to our bodies whether we’re being pursued by lions, or freaking out about a deadline at work. It responds in the same way. The upshot of all this stress is a state of chronic inflammation, which we absolutely want to avoid as inflammation is the root cause of so much disease.

So, with that in mind which foods will help you?


Luckily there are dozens of food choices which will assist you here, but here are some really easy ones you can add (or remove!):


1. Eat probiotic-rich foods

Probiotic-rich foods, like sauerkraut and kefir, can really boost your gut health and mood. Probiotics are the friendly bacteria that line your gut and are responsible for nutrient absorption, boosting your mood and supporting your immune system.



2. Avoid gluten if necessary

Limiting, or even totally avoiding gluten-containing foods such as pasta, bread and baked goods may have a positive effect on your mood. Traditional food processing methods such as sprouting or using fermented grains, for example, ensure gluten-containing grains are much easier to digest and allow for greater nutrient absorption. So if you’re struggling with grains its always worth trying sourdough bread, or sprouted grain products to see if that makes a difference for you.





3. Don’t avoid healthy fats

Healthy fats are essential for brain health. Olive oil, for instance, contains a high level of antioxidants that protect your cells from damage. It also helps improve memory and cognitive function, and works as an anti-inflammatory.

Avocado benefits range from protecting your heart to assisting with digestion, but it’s also a great choice for improving your mood.

4. Consume Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a fantastic source of B-vitamins so feel free to consume them in abundance. They’re especially rich in B6 which is needed for serotonin production, this will help ensure your mood remains positive, and is a natural stress reliever. Shiitake mushrooms are especially beneficial as they’re great for immunity as well as being a great source of B6.


5. Eat nuts 

Nuts such as walnuts, cashews and almonds are rich in serotonin. If you find nuts too harsh on your digestion, try soaking them for a few hours first – this way they can be easily added to smoothies, or alternatively add them to an overnight oats recipe.

Here’s a delicious recipe which uses cashew nut cream to make a really creamy spinach soup.

Seeds such as sesame seeds will also help with your mood as they contain an amino acid called tyrosine which is known to boost dopamine levels.

If you would like to speak to me about any aspect of your gut health, then please use this link to book into my diary for a FREE 30 minute chat so I can find out more about what is going on for you.  Alternatively please use the ‘Learn More’ link below.

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